The following post about tart cherries is sponsored by FitFluential, Inc. on behalf of The Cherry Marketing Institute.

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I recently completed The Cherry Marketing Institute’s 7-Day Tart Cherry Juice Challenge. In a quick recap, tart cherries have been shown to help reduce soreness and inflammation in the body due to compounds such as anthocyanins. This makes them a great tool in improving recovery times when it comes to exercise and training.

tart cherry challenge

I’m not training for anything right now, but I embarked on the challenge to see if it would make a difference in my every day fitness routine. In addition to sticking with my normal routine, I added back in a few body-pump type weight classes that I’ve steered clear of the past few months since I end up too sore to pick my arms up after a class if I don’t go regularly.

The good news? The classes didn’t kill me. I could still pick up the toddler afterwards and my legs weren’t shaking as I climbed the stairs that night. I can’t say I wasn’t feeling it all though. Winking smile #outofshape

tart cherries

I can easily see incorporating tart cherries into part of my normal routine, partly because it seemed to make enough of a difference that I could see it playing a bigger role in a dedicated training plan. Also partly because it was really easy to incorporate – the dried tart cherries, cherry juice, and cherry juice concentrate all taste really good and have the refreshing type of tang I like when I’m sweaty and thirsty, plus they’re available all year round.

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Before workouts, usually soon after eating breakfast, I drank some of the juice, either as is or incorporated into my homemade sports drink. {I sipped the drink during spin but otherwise didn’t drink it during a workout since I typically don’t do that}. After a workout I refueled with a protein and cherry snack. These tart cherry lime energy balls ended up being what I turned to the most, since they’re portable, versatile, and taste good. As per usual, I had to share a few with the toddler – sneaky little fingers. {Most of the research has provided participants with two 8 ounce servings of tart cherries, thus the before-and-after approach here.}

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This recipe is easily adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand and is easy to vary based on flavor preference.

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Cherry Lime Energy Balls

1/2 cup dried tart cherries

1/2 cup cashews

1/2 cup almonds

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1/2 tsp ginger {dry}

juice of 1/2 lime {approx}

Soak cherries in warm water while you prep the rest of your ingredients. Not a required step but I find in helpful in giving the balls sticking powder.

Pulse ingredients in blender or food processor until coarsely chopped. Scoop by the tablespoonful and form into ball. If mixture won’t hold, blend more or add more liquid {coconut oil or lime juice}.

Eat as-is or pop in the freezer to make extra portable and refreshing post-workout.

 

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To learn more about tart cherries and how they can aid your recovery {or for recipe ideas} visit ChooseCherries.com or:

Did you try the tart cherry challenge? What did you think? How did you eat or drink them? Would love to hear your recipes!